There was plenty of action behind the scenes at Cheyenne Frontier Days | TheFencePost.com

There was plenty of action behind the scenes at Cheyenne Frontier Days

Tony Bruguiere Ft. Collins, Colo.

Once inside the 'turn back' gate, this experienced bareback horse walks calmly into the stripping chute after doing his eight seconds of work for the day.

If a rodeo has any roughstock events at all, it will have a Stripping Chute of some kind. It is in the stripping chute where saddles, halters and bareback rigging are removed from bucking horses. The action in the stripping chute area can be very interesting to watch.

Behind the east stands at CFD are the roughstock pens, which are 700 feet of a complex maze of stock pens, turn back gates and alley ways. The primary stock contractor for Cheyenne Frontier Days is the Vold Rodeo Company, but there are four or five more contractors that have animals at Frontier Days. It takes some very dedicated volunteers to keep the stripping process from breaking down into total chaos.

Greg Esp, the Lead at the bucking horse stripping chutes, and his assistant Wes Schaefer, have worked to fine tune the team of volunteers so that the stripping chutes function with maximum efficiency to keep the process moving along. The stripping chute personnel and others in the pen area used to be paid employees of the stock contractors, but Frontier Days realized that the rodeo could get more dedication, at a much better price, if volunteers were used. They are now part of the contestants committee and Greg Esp has been a volunteer for 24 years.

During that time Greg and Wes set out to refine the stripping to attain maximum efficiency. “What we used to do is we had three pens – one rookie pen, one big one for Harry Vold, and the other pen was for everybody else.” said Greg Esp, “We just mixed them all in together and then at the end of the rodeo, there would be six stock contractors back here trying to sort out all their stock.”

Esp continued, “So me and Wes decided one year, why don’t I just stand back there and pull gates and you call out whose horse it is, and we’ll separate them by stock contractor.” The plan worked out great. So good, in fact that “you never see the stock contractors back here ‘cus they know we do our job and their horses are taken care of.”

It is easy to see the action going on in the stripping chutes at Cheyenne Frontier Days. From the walkway to the seats in the east stands, you look out over the roughstock pens and the horse stripping chute is to your left. For an even closer view, when you enter the arena area from the east, you use a walkway bridge that crosses over the alley way to the chutes.

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Once you know the various moving parts to the process, you can appreciate the efficiency that Esp and his team have. It begins out in the arena where a pickup man releases the flank strap from the bucking horse and the horse stops bucking but is still running.

The pickup men guide the bucking horse to the north out-gate. The out-gate is opened and the horse runs down the alley followed by a chase rider. If the horse has a rope on him, the pickup man passes the end of the rope to the chase rider who follows the running horse down the alley while holding the rope.

At the end of the alley, Cole Pomeroy, the alert gate-man, has the ‘turn back’ gate open and allows the bucking horse through and closes the gate before the chase rider gets there. The horse enters the stripping chute where Conner Petersen and Tyler Ward remove the rope, if the horse has one, and all the rigging. The saddle or bareback rigging is placed neatly on a rack where it waits to be picked up by the contestant. The rope is returned to the pickup man. The horse is turned out and identified by brand and number by Jessica Bomberger and directed to the proper pen.

Safety is very important to Greg Esp, “We have two rules back here – don’t hurt a horse and don’t get no body hurt.” The welfare of the animals is also very important to CFD and to the PRCA, so fourth year vet student, Sherry Johnson, looks over every animal both before and after their performance. She checks each horse for lacerations and lameness as well as for the very rare, evidence of spur marks. With an experienced eye Johnson observes the behavior of each horse as they return to the pens from the arena to insure that there are no problems.

The next time you are at Cheyenne Frontier Days, check out the action in the stripping chutes. Some rodeos hide what goes on behind-the-scenes, but Cheyenne Frontier Days puts everything out so everyone can see what a great job their 400 volunteers do to put on the “Daddy of ’em All”.

If a rodeo has any roughstock events at all, it will have a Stripping Chute of some kind. It is in the stripping chute where saddles, halters and bareback rigging are removed from bucking horses. The action in the stripping chute area can be very interesting to watch.

Behind the east stands at CFD are the roughstock pens, which are 700 feet of a complex maze of stock pens, turn back gates and alley ways. The primary stock contractor for Cheyenne Frontier Days is the Vold Rodeo Company, but there are four or five more contractors that have animals at Frontier Days. It takes some very dedicated volunteers to keep the stripping process from breaking down into total chaos.

Greg Esp, the Lead at the bucking horse stripping chutes, and his assistant Wes Schaefer, have worked to fine tune the team of volunteers so that the stripping chutes function with maximum efficiency to keep the process moving along. The stripping chute personnel and others in the pen area used to be paid employees of the stock contractors, but Frontier Days realized that the rodeo could get more dedication, at a much better price, if volunteers were used. They are now part of the contestants committee and Greg Esp has been a volunteer for 24 years.

During that time Greg and Wes set out to refine the stripping to attain maximum efficiency. “What we used to do is we had three pens – one rookie pen, one big one for Harry Vold, and the other pen was for everybody else.” said Greg Esp, “We just mixed them all in together and then at the end of the rodeo, there would be six stock contractors back here trying to sort out all their stock.”

Esp continued, “So me and Wes decided one year, why don’t I just stand back there and pull gates and you call out whose horse it is, and we’ll separate them by stock contractor.” The plan worked out great. So good, in fact that “you never see the stock contractors back here ‘cus they know we do our job and their horses are taken care of.”

It is easy to see the action going on in the stripping chutes at Cheyenne Frontier Days. From the walkway to the seats in the east stands, you look out over the roughstock pens and the horse stripping chute is to your left. For an even closer view, when you enter the arena area from the east, you use a walkway bridge that crosses over the alley way to the chutes.

Once you know the various moving parts to the process, you can appreciate the efficiency that Esp and his team have. It begins out in the arena where a pickup man releases the flank strap from the bucking horse and the horse stops bucking but is still running.

The pickup men guide the bucking horse to the north out-gate. The out-gate is opened and the horse runs down the alley followed by a chase rider. If the horse has a rope on him, the pickup man passes the end of the rope to the chase rider who follows the running horse down the alley while holding the rope.

At the end of the alley, Cole Pomeroy, the alert gate-man, has the ‘turn back’ gate open and allows the bucking horse through and closes the gate before the chase rider gets there. The horse enters the stripping chute where Conner Petersen and Tyler Ward remove the rope, if the horse has one, and all the rigging. The saddle or bareback rigging is placed neatly on a rack where it waits to be picked up by the contestant. The rope is returned to the pickup man. The horse is turned out and identified by brand and number by Jessica Bomberger and directed to the proper pen.

Safety is very important to Greg Esp, “We have two rules back here – don’t hurt a horse and don’t get no body hurt.” The welfare of the animals is also very important to CFD and to the PRCA, so fourth year vet student, Sherry Johnson, looks over every animal both before and after their performance. She checks each horse for lacerations and lameness as well as for the very rare, evidence of spur marks. With an experienced eye Johnson observes the behavior of each horse as they return to the pens from the arena to insure that there are no problems.

The next time you are at Cheyenne Frontier Days, check out the action in the stripping chutes. Some rodeos hide what goes on behind-the-scenes, but Cheyenne Frontier Days puts everything out so everyone can see what a great job their 400 volunteers do to put on the “Daddy of ’em All”.

If a rodeo has any roughstock events at all, it will have a Stripping Chute of some kind. It is in the stripping chute where saddles, halters and bareback rigging are removed from bucking horses. The action in the stripping chute area can be very interesting to watch.

Behind the east stands at CFD are the roughstock pens, which are 700 feet of a complex maze of stock pens, turn back gates and alley ways. The primary stock contractor for Cheyenne Frontier Days is the Vold Rodeo Company, but there are four or five more contractors that have animals at Frontier Days. It takes some very dedicated volunteers to keep the stripping process from breaking down into total chaos.

Greg Esp, the Lead at the bucking horse stripping chutes, and his assistant Wes Schaefer, have worked to fine tune the team of volunteers so that the stripping chutes function with maximum efficiency to keep the process moving along. The stripping chute personnel and others in the pen area used to be paid employees of the stock contractors, but Frontier Days realized that the rodeo could get more dedication, at a much better price, if volunteers were used. They are now part of the contestants committee and Greg Esp has been a volunteer for 24 years.

During that time Greg and Wes set out to refine the stripping to attain maximum efficiency. “What we used to do is we had three pens – one rookie pen, one big one for Harry Vold, and the other pen was for everybody else.” said Greg Esp, “We just mixed them all in together and then at the end of the rodeo, there would be six stock contractors back here trying to sort out all their stock.”

Esp continued, “So me and Wes decided one year, why don’t I just stand back there and pull gates and you call out whose horse it is, and we’ll separate them by stock contractor.” The plan worked out great. So good, in fact that “you never see the stock contractors back here ‘cus they know we do our job and their horses are taken care of.”

It is easy to see the action going on in the stripping chutes at Cheyenne Frontier Days. From the walkway to the seats in the east stands, you look out over the roughstock pens and the horse stripping chute is to your left. For an even closer view, when you enter the arena area from the east, you use a walkway bridge that crosses over the alley way to the chutes.

Once you know the various moving parts to the process, you can appreciate the efficiency that Esp and his team have. It begins out in the arena where a pickup man releases the flank strap from the bucking horse and the horse stops bucking but is still running.

The pickup men guide the bucking horse to the north out-gate. The out-gate is opened and the horse runs down the alley followed by a chase rider. If the horse has a rope on him, the pickup man passes the end of the rope to the chase rider who follows the running horse down the alley while holding the rope.

At the end of the alley, Cole Pomeroy, the alert gate-man, has the ‘turn back’ gate open and allows the bucking horse through and closes the gate before the chase rider gets there. The horse enters the stripping chute where Conner Petersen and Tyler Ward remove the rope, if the horse has one, and all the rigging. The saddle or bareback rigging is placed neatly on a rack where it waits to be picked up by the contestant. The rope is returned to the pickup man. The horse is turned out and identified by brand and number by Jessica Bomberger and directed to the proper pen.

Safety is very important to Greg Esp, “We have two rules back here – don’t hurt a horse and don’t get no body hurt.” The welfare of the animals is also very important to CFD and to the PRCA, so fourth year vet student, Sherry Johnson, looks over every animal both before and after their performance. She checks each horse for lacerations and lameness as well as for the very rare, evidence of spur marks. With an experienced eye Johnson observes the behavior of each horse as they return to the pens from the arena to insure that there are no problems.

The next time you are at Cheyenne Frontier Days, check out the action in the stripping chutes. Some rodeos hide what goes on behind-the-scenes, but Cheyenne Frontier Days puts everything out so everyone can see what a great job their 400 volunteers do to put on the “Daddy of ’em All”.

If a rodeo has any roughstock events at all, it will have a Stripping Chute of some kind. It is in the stripping chute where saddles, halters and bareback rigging are removed from bucking horses. The action in the stripping chute area can be very interesting to watch.

Behind the east stands at CFD are the roughstock pens, which are 700 feet of a complex maze of stock pens, turn back gates and alley ways. The primary stock contractor for Cheyenne Frontier Days is the Vold Rodeo Company, but there are four or five more contractors that have animals at Frontier Days. It takes some very dedicated volunteers to keep the stripping process from breaking down into total chaos.

Greg Esp, the Lead at the bucking horse stripping chutes, and his assistant Wes Schaefer, have worked to fine tune the team of volunteers so that the stripping chutes function with maximum efficiency to keep the process moving along. The stripping chute personnel and others in the pen area used to be paid employees of the stock contractors, but Frontier Days realized that the rodeo could get more dedication, at a much better price, if volunteers were used. They are now part of the contestants committee and Greg Esp has been a volunteer for 24 years.

During that time Greg and Wes set out to refine the stripping to attain maximum efficiency. “What we used to do is we had three pens – one rookie pen, one big one for Harry Vold, and the other pen was for everybody else.” said Greg Esp, “We just mixed them all in together and then at the end of the rodeo, there would be six stock contractors back here trying to sort out all their stock.”

Esp continued, “So me and Wes decided one year, why don’t I just stand back there and pull gates and you call out whose horse it is, and we’ll separate them by stock contractor.” The plan worked out great. So good, in fact that “you never see the stock contractors back here ‘cus they know we do our job and their horses are taken care of.”

It is easy to see the action going on in the stripping chutes at Cheyenne Frontier Days. From the walkway to the seats in the east stands, you look out over the roughstock pens and the horse stripping chute is to your left. For an even closer view, when you enter the arena area from the east, you use a walkway bridge that crosses over the alley way to the chutes.

Once you know the various moving parts to the process, you can appreciate the efficiency that Esp and his team have. It begins out in the arena where a pickup man releases the flank strap from the bucking horse and the horse stops bucking but is still running.

The pickup men guide the bucking horse to the north out-gate. The out-gate is opened and the horse runs down the alley followed by a chase rider. If the horse has a rope on him, the pickup man passes the end of the rope to the chase rider who follows the running horse down the alley while holding the rope.

At the end of the alley, Cole Pomeroy, the alert gate-man, has the ‘turn back’ gate open and allows the bucking horse through and closes the gate before the chase rider gets there. The horse enters the stripping chute where Conner Petersen and Tyler Ward remove the rope, if the horse has one, and all the rigging. The saddle or bareback rigging is placed neatly on a rack where it waits to be picked up by the contestant. The rope is returned to the pickup man. The horse is turned out and identified by brand and number by Jessica Bomberger and directed to the proper pen.

Safety is very important to Greg Esp, “We have two rules back here – don’t hurt a horse and don’t get no body hurt.” The welfare of the animals is also very important to CFD and to the PRCA, so fourth year vet student, Sherry Johnson, looks over every animal both before and after their performance. She checks each horse for lacerations and lameness as well as for the very rare, evidence of spur marks. With an experienced eye Johnson observes the behavior of each horse as they return to the pens from the arena to insure that there are no problems.

The next time you are at Cheyenne Frontier Days, check out the action in the stripping chutes. Some rodeos hide what goes on behind-the-scenes, but Cheyenne Frontier Days puts everything out so everyone can see what a great job their 400 volunteers do to put on the “Daddy of ’em All”.